Nicholas Dean Lodge

469th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, April 08, 2008 to Monday, April 14, 2008


Mike Kenyon and Yvonne Williams had an incredible first day of fishing last week and, to top it off, finished the day with one of those rare Steehead double headers. Greg Buck Photo


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

A few weeks ago, we asked for rain to help raise extremely low rivers to more fish – friendly conditions, and, well, rain is what we received. The last week has been a very wet one, and river levels have risen and coloured. The Skeena has for the most part been quite dirty, and it was rumoured that the Bulkley was the main influence. Other Skeena tributaries, particularly those which have lakes in their upper reaches, are still very fishable and have developed their more traditional “Steelhead green” colour. These higher waters have enabled us to reach some of our favourite pools and runs that were previously difficult to access, unless drifting in a raft or drift boat. Repeat guests, Mike Kenyon and Yvonne Williams fished with us last week, and had one of their best Spring fishing trips in recent years. [As an aside, you may recall that Yvonne was the lucky angler to have landed the largest Steelhead at the lodge last year – a mammoth 28 lb Spring buck.] On their first day of fishing, veteran guide Greg Buck took them to some of his favourite pools on a Skeena river tributary, and right away, Yvonne was into a fish. The chrome hen Steelhead fought well in the sluggish water, but Yvonne played the fish well and soon had a chance to pose with the first Steelhead of her trip. Not long after, Mike followed suit. All told, Mike and Yvonne hooked 8 Steelhead and landed 6 – an exceptional day of Steelhead fishing by any standard. Perhaps the only the only thing more outstanding was how they finished their day…

Throughout the day, Yvonne was fishing with a black and blue Intruder style pattern that Mike had picked up at a local fly shop in Vancouver. On the previous night, Mike and I had discussed fly choice, colour combinations and our own personal preferences. Upon looking at the flies, Yvonne mentioned that one of the flies, the black and blue Intruder-like pattern, reminded her of someone who Mike and her knew. Apparently the blue colour of the fly reminded her of a young lady’s hair, and so named the fly “the Heather.” Near the end of their first day, Greg wanted to try one last pool before taking out at the boat launch, and Yvonne continued to fish with the Heather. Both her and Mike were fishing a small slot on the far side of the river, and were swinging their flies through the slot and into the nearby shallows. Almost right away, Yvonne hooked into a Steelhead and Mike followed suit. Backing up slowly towards the bank so they could take a picture, Mike and Yvonne achieved a very rare feat in Steelhead fly fishing – the elusive double header. Definitely a great way to end the day and a great way to start off their trip.

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels…

Chad Black

Operations Manager

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Nicholas Dean Lodge 2008 Season Records To Date:

Steelhead: 23 lbs, Caught by Martin Walker of San Francisco, California on a Skeena River Tributary


Fishing Conditions

The chart below provides an overview on the current river fishing conditions by fish species:

Fish Species Poor Marginal Fair Good Excellent
Steelhead
Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon Out of season
Pink Salmon Out of season
Sockeye Salmon Out of season
Chum Salmon Out of season
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout

Owing to recent rainfall events, the rivers in the Skeena region have started to rise and discolour, if only a little, making Steelhead and other Trout species less spooky. As a result, Steelhead fishing has been quite good, and a number of fish were caught by guests at the lodge last week. The downstream migration of Salmon fry has piqued the appetites of Bull Trout, Dolly Varden and Cutthroat Trout, and anglers targeting these fish specifically on light rods are likely to have great sport. It has been a common sight to see anglers fishing for Spring Chinook, though there have been few reports of any fish taken in the Skeena or its tributaries of late.